Logie: 'I'll Rethink Canada Appointment'
Wed, Dec 11, '02
If Jeff Thomas was stunned by his dismissal as coach of Canada's World Cup-bound cricket team, the man who will be taking over from him is doubly puzzled.
When former West Indies star Gus Logie was informed yesterday that Thomas was fired to make room for him, there was a long pause. "What? I simply cannot believe this," the 42-year-old Trinidadian said when reached in Port of Spain.
"I definitely do not like to be in a situation where I am taking over from an individual who has just lost his job."
Logie said the WICB approached him last month after receiving a letter from the Canadian Cricket Association that it was looking for a coach, unaware that plans were being made to dump Thomas.
"I will definitely have to rethink this and talk with my board and the people involved. I am not happy that I am taking away somebody's job."
Logie said he just signed a two-year contract with the WICB.
Thomas was informed at the end of last month that he had been fired, but it wasn't until yesterday that he was formally given his severance papers by CCA president Geoff Edwards.
"As of today, I am no longer in charge of the Canadian team," Thomas said. "I am very disappointed and frustrated."
Thomas, whose contract was to end at the conclusion of the World Cup in March, had an impressive record since taking over in 1999.
The squad qualified for the global tournament for the first time in 24 years, and won two games in the West Indies Red Stripe tournament for the first time.
It then surprised the West Indies A team in a three-match, one-day series in Toronto.
One source said yesterday that the financially-strapped CCA gave Thomas a one-month severance package, a saving on the rest of his contract. A clause in the severance papers apparently stated Thomas cannot reveal the reason for his ouster.
Thomas yesterday wouldn't confirm or deny the terms of his severance package or the clause to muzzle him.
Even though Thomas had his salary paid by the International Cricket Council, he was still technically an employee of the CCA.
Edwards also refused to divulge whether Thomas was fired because of financial reasons. "All I can tell you is that I was not sure whether Jeff would be able to serve at another level of the game."
When pressed as to whether he thought Thomas wasn't good enough to coach at the World Cup, Edwards declined further comment.
"But I can tell you I have always been very supportive of Jeff and hopefully he will be able to coach in Canada in the future," he said.
Logie, whose salary will be paid by the WICB, said he will find himself in a difficult position if his employer insists that he coaches Canada.
"The first thing, though, I want to see if the CCA can bring back the guy (Thomas)."
Logie is familiar with most of the Canadian players. He was the coach of the West Indies 'A' team that toured here this summer.
"I have no idea how it will affect them (players) psychologically to have someone new. After all, I know they would have had the trust and confidence of Jeff Thomas."
* SOURCE: Toronto Star.